My great-uncle, Jim Newman, passed away last week at the age of 87. He was the brother of my paternal grandfather, Louis Newman, whom I've written about on the blog several times.
I remember Uncle Jim from when I was just a little kid, and I thought he was really cool because he drove 18-wheelers for Central Freight. I didn't see him quite as much as I saw my grandparents, but every time we would get together, he was the sweetest guy in the world. He was always so excited to see us and he placed such a strong emphasis on family.
He was outstanding at chronicling the events and history of our family. When I got interested in looking up my family tree several years ago, I was amused to see online that Uncle Jim had already mapped everything out for me and anyone else interested in our family. He had posted photographs that I didn't even know existed of my grandparents and great-great grandparents.
Amazingly, Uncle Jim also did a fantastic job of keeping a record of his time in the Navy serving on a submarine during World War II, writing a book that now resides in the National Museum of the Pacific War. The local newspaper in Bryan/College Station wrote an article about it today.
It is fascinating. You can read it by clicking here.
Reading the article made me laugh and think about my grandfather again. It my grandfather (whom I called "Pa") that had gotten Uncle Jim a job at a pig farm right out of high school. That sounds exactly like something my grandfather would have done.
And it made me very glad that Pa wasn't in charge of my career planning when I got out of high school.
I think Uncle Jim, like so many of the time, truly embodied the essence of the Greatest Generation. I'm so grateful that he took the time to commit his memories to writing.
And I'm very proud to tell people he was my great uncle.